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Unicorn Escaped Slaughter

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Unicorn Escaped Slaughter

Photo: RÚV.

Farmer Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir has one sheep who stands out from the crowd. He Has one double-thick horn coming from the middle of his head—just like a unicorn. He does not have the body of a horse, however.

The Icelandic word ‘einhyrningur’ translates as unicorn in English and is commonly used in the same way, but its historic connotations in Iceland are more about unique and special sheep, rather than magical horses. “We just call him the unicorn. Though that word means something in else in English than we have for it here in Iceland,” Erla says. “I have never seen anything like it and nor have the people around me.”

Hraunkot farm has around 200 sheep. The unicorn ram was born last spring and it was immediately apparent its horn(s) were different to all the others. “You could see right away that the horns were grown together,” Erla told RÚV—adding that she has no obvious explanation for it.

Erla say the ram totally missed last autumn’s round-up: “He arrived just before Christmas back to base and that’s the reason he’s still alive.” He was supposed to be among the rams sent to slaughter before October 31, which is the last date that farmers get decent money for young ram meat, which gains a distinctive taste after a certain age.

Asked what else makes the unicorn special other than his horn, Erla says “nothing”. He is of no more than average size and strength, and seems to have little or no magical power whatsoever. On the other hand, he is still alive…

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